They overflowed the tub?

At 3:02 a.m., I am awakened by the voice of Leonard saying, “Hey man, wake up.” As I do, I see him lit in silhouette by the lights in the living room coming through my door, and I hear … water? “There’s water pouring out of the light fixture in the kitchen. I’ve shut off the breakers in there. Do you remember the emergency number for the apartment complex?” I do, so I rattle it off while I find clothes.

As I do so, I realize that, uh, I’m hearing water in my bathroom, too. I open the door to a puddle that covers about half my bathroom floor, with water appearing to pour out of the air-conditioning vent. I quickly grab the kitchen-sized trashcan from my bedroom closet and shove it under the torrent. [Well, it’s not a torrent, but torrent just sounds cool.] By this time, Leonard’s got the folks at the answering service on the phone. They ask him for our number, and he blanks on it. [Funny, since he’s the cell phone-less one and is, generally, the only person who gets calls here at home.] He asks me what it is, and I, well, choke. “Uhhhhh, 5-3 … crap, uhhhhh …” Eventually, I remember the whole thing.

As we wait for the local maintenance guy to show, I chuckle about all the phone numbers I’ve had since I’ve lived in Huntsville. “There were the two at UAH, the two lines we had at my first apartment, the one I had when I lived with Jared, the two different numbers we had when I lived here the first time, the two lines we had out in Meridianville, and then the number here. Combine that with my work number and my cell number, which haven’t changed, and … man, I’m doing real good to remember this number at 3:10 in the morning.”

At this point, we figure that our neighbors upstairs have done something stupid. I begin to muse on the makeup of our building. “You know, when I first moved in here in mid-June, this building was full of professionals and families. I guess they stuck me in here because they saw “25-year-old engineer renting 3-BR apartment by self” and figured, “Ehhh, he’ll never have parties or anything.” Not like we have, really, other than Sean’s bachelor party, but that’s kinda beside the point. “But these yahoos upstairs are about on my last nerve.” Why do apartment complexes allow families of six&emdash;yes, six&emdash;rent out top-floor apartments? These kids are as bad as the kids living above us the last time we were here. I swear, if I had to move in this complex, I’d move to a top-floor apartment just so someone else could experience my version of hell. I think I’d stomp around everywhere I went as a matter of course for at least the first week.

By this time, the repairman has arrived. He looks at the coming flood and says, “Well, y’all have done all the right things so far.” He surveys the trashcans and the empty fishtank collecting the water and says, “Well, I better go see what’s going on upstairs.” He exits and we hear him going up the stairs. Seconds later, we hear pounding on the door. We chuckle. A couple minutes later, he pounds again. Giggling, I run like a school boy to the front porch, hoping to hear the first exchange between him and the parents upstairs. As I do so, I figure out just how cold it is outside. “Whew, it’s about 20F out, man.” Yes, I say 20F, not just 20. I’m an engineer. “Maybe they had a pipe break. Man, if this causes us to move, I’m going to be pissed-off.”

There’s a long wait while the nice repairman [inaudibly] converses with the neighbors, so I go back to the bathroom to see how the flood’s going in there. I stop and smell. “Man, this smells like … like there’s something in the water.” Leonard replies, “Is it the trash that was in the trash can before? That was kinda stank.” I think and say, “No, it’s as if there’s some kind of cleaning solution in it.” Yeah, at 3:15 a.m., I can’t come up with the word “soap”.

A couple minutes later, the repairman reappears, shaking his head. “I had to wait like five minutes, but the guy told me that he just plain overflowed the tub. There’s water in their kitchen and in their bathroom. After another five minutes, he let me in there to survey the damage. Guys, just keep your cans where they are, and this will just drain out overnight. In the morning, I’ll come back and check on whatever damage there is.” We thank him, and he heads out, hopeful that he can soon be back in bed, asleep.

As soon as the door closes, Leonard says, “He overflowed the tub?” I reply, “There must have been a little spankety-spankety going on. You’d think that I would have heard it.” L replies, “Well, you moron, you didn’t hear water pouring out into your bathroom floor, so I’m not surprised that you wouldn’t hear the spankety-spankety.” I smirk and say, “Not like I want to hear it. And heck, haven’t they figured out by now that spankety-spankety’s gotten them where they are—four kids, with living expenses too high for them to afford a house payment? Yeesh.”

Eventually, I was able to get back to sleep, amidst all the dripping.


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